Nancy’s Knit Knacks Electronic Row Counter

I’ve had a lot of experience with electronic gadgets, computers, digital cameras and so forth over the years so I pretty much can figure out how to use them on my own using the instructions only if necessary. I have to admit that I love the challenge of figuring out how to use a newly purchased gadget. So when I took the row counter out of the box, I was totally prepared to have to spend time trying to figure out how to use it even with the instructions. To my total surprise, I had this counter working for me in 5 minutes.

All I needed to know was which button was for what function, and before I knew it, I had all three count functions used to keep track of the three different socks that I was working on. I was disappointed, to say the least. This was too quick! I wanted to brag to my husband again about how smart I was for figuring out how to operate yet another electronic gadget all by myself. Well, Nancy’s Knit Knacks surely took away my glory when they designed this easy to use the electronic row counter. It’s too easy. That’s a big plus for this row counter. It may look like it will be difficult to learn how to use but not so.


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Knitting Tips

Here are some awesome knitting tips for beginners. Enjoy!

How to read a chart

Not ALL charts are alike. Reading a knitting chart is different than a cross stitch. It can be confusing but not when you follow my simple tutorial.

Self -Patterning Yarn – How will it look?

Want to know how a self-patterning yarn will look? Just wrap some yarn around a ruler and voila! It will give you an idea of how the pattern will progress but remember the sock pattern has more stitches which makes it much wider than the stripes pictured here and so the stripes in your sock pattern will be much narrower.

Roving Bag

While I’m spinning, I somehow either get caught in the roving or step on it without knowing and end up with a break. Being the inventor like my Dad was, I came up with this idea for holding my roving so that it wouldn’t be on the floor within reach of my Poms or my feet. What I did was purchase a plastic gift bag (not paper) then I got one of those hooks from 3M that sticks to a surface but releases when you pull the strip of sticky stuff down. Off it comes without leaving any residue or removing paint or wallpaper. I don’t want to ruin my beautiful wheels, so this is what I used. I stuck it to my wheel, attached the hook and hung my bag full of roving. Works great!


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Tips For Spinning Knitting Yarn

Spinning has been one of my passions since 1982. Fiber animals were added to my addiction 22 years ago. My joy has been raising the animals for quality fiber, spinning the wool from my precious llamas and Jacob sheep, and weaving or knitting the yarn into a finished product.

To begin, I need to state that making handspun yarn is not just simply twisting fiber. Once you start spinning you very quickly realize that there are many ways to spin and different techniques are used to create a yarn that is suitable for a specific purpose. With this in mind, I am sharing some things you might try to incorporate into your spinning when designing a yarn for knitting.

Did you know that there is a right end and a wrong end to spin from when using drum carded fiber or fiber that is commercially processed? Yes, this is a fact. There is definitely one direction that pulls out more easily. The test is simple. Break off a length about one inch in width and gently pull on each end. Yes, one slips more easily. This is the proper end from which to spin. You will be amazed to find how easy it is to draft from the correct end. Your yarn will be nicer as you have greater control since there is no drag or resistance during the spinning process. (more…)

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Easy Craft Ideas: Colortime Crafts

When I was a kid, I loved arts and crafts! Making dream catchers, loom art, lanyards, you name it. I even remember having my birthday party twice at a place where you paint pottery and then bring it home. One experience that I’ll never forget growing up is being in the Girl Scouts. Not only did we do arts and craft projects but I learned so much about my community and had wonderful experiences I might not have had otherwise, which is why I am happy I found this great company, Colortime Crafts, and Markers!

Colortime Crafts and Markers is a local company to me, based on Long Island, NY. They’ve been around since the early 90′s and their Cotton Warehouse was always known as a place for wearable art. After hosting Colortime Crafts and Markers parties in their classroom for birthdays, Girl Scouts and camps, they decided to expand so that kids everywhere can get in on the fun and creativity! They have also been a licensed Girl Scout Vendor for over 15 years and have a large assortment of shirts, pillowcases, bags and more for troops!

I was sent the Recycle Tote with three markers for review. Since my kids are too young to be able to color in the lines, I decided to channel the inner kid in me. I followed the suggestions and put a paper towel in the bag just in case the markers bled through, and got to work! At first, I didn’t think the markers would have enough ink but I was definitely wrong! As long as you go slowly, you’ll have a nice deep color and you’ll have ink to spare for future projects.


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Easy Crafts Made with Glue Dots

Doing simple arts and craft activities is a great way to bond with your children while making a precious keepsake but with young kids, sometimes it’s not that simple! At times I dread doing crafts with my toddlers because I just know if we color, there will be marker everywhere; if we’re gluing/pasting, everything is going to end up as a sticky mess, including Mikey’s hands which are always going in his mouth!

That’s why I was so glad to have the opportunity to try out Glue Dots, a double-sided adhesive dot that is great for crafts, household projects, hanging artwork and more. Glue Dots work great on a multitude of surfaces, not just paper and there’s no dry time required. Use them on wood, plastic, metal, painted walls, foam board and glass, without leaving a sticky residue. Glue dots are acid-free, archival-safe, non-toxic, and all products conform to industry standards (ASTM  D-4236) for craft and child safety. I received several kinds of dots to try out–Poster, Removable and Permanent, in both  3/8″ with dispensers and 1/2″ tear and peel tabs.


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Serious artists like to use serious tools

Serious artists like to use serious tools. But, the things that actually make your work any good are FREE.

Passion, talent, and good ideas. (combined with a willingness to go through lots of bad ideas too) When I was in school, my chef instructor, who boasted of his expensive education rarely taught a lesson without reading from a textbook. You can’t buy your way to artistic genius. Anyone can look like a pro.  Actually producing decent art, on the other hand, is harder to fake.

In real life, I work for the non-profit agency and we are stressed with implementing new learning method- it’s about online learning for people who left school before graduation. We cooperate with a well-known blog for promoting e-learning. So recently we discovered that despite the fact that our target group (people without education) struggle with money, 65% of people who access information about online classes on the blog: do that using smartphones.

For us, it means that we need to consider adjusting communication tools but I wonder if it is a case that people feel more confident if they use modern tools. Since then we changed the way we communicate and we asked the blog to rewrite the content. But I keep wondering how it works. Let me know your thoughts.


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